The Handmaid's Tale Part 15: Night
Offred sits and waits in her room for what she thinks may be the last time. She feels indifferent to her situation. "Don't let the bastards grind you down. I repeat this to myself but it conveys nothing. You might as well say, Don't let there be air; or Don't be. I suppose you could say that." Chapter 46. pg. 291 She enumerates all her options for action. She could set fire to the house with her one match she has saved. She could escape through the window and walk the streets until she was caught. She could implore the Commander. She could kill the Wife. She could hang herself from the hook in the closet. She could hide in Nick's room. None of her options seems any better than the others. Offred senses the presence of the last Handmaid who hung herself. This is the most compelling option, but before considers acting on her thoughts she sees a black van of the Eyes pull into the driveway. She chastises herself for wasting time. Nick opens the door unexpectedly and tells her the men who are taking her are with Mayday. She does not believe it, but seizes upon his request to trust him. As she is being led out the door the Commander asks for the Eyes' authorization. Serena did not call them. They tell him the charges are on violation of state secrets. He is stunned. Serena is incensed. Cora is crying. Offred leaves with the strangers. She has no choice.